30 Plus Mile Kind of Day
In Which Charlie Is Finally Exhausted After A Very Intense Week

Facilis descensus Averno

Perfect autumn bike riding weather

facilis descensus Averno:

noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;

sed reuocare gradum superasque euadere ad auras,

hoc opus, hic labor est.  

---Virgil, Aeneid, VI. 125-129

Easy the way down to Hades:

Nights and days the door of black Dis lies open;

but to recall your step and escape to the air above,

this is the work, this the labor.


In other words, getting there is easy, crawling your way back up to where you began is a h--luva lot more work.

Case in point: Charlie perseveres with aplomb through an unexpected week off from school following an unexpected October snowstorm that changes the landscape of streets all across New Jersey and the Northeast. Then, the day before he is to return to his well-established routine, on learning it's back to school, major anxiety all around.

I'm sure the return to Regular Time after Daylight's Saving also had something to do with it. Charlie was up at 6am (7am to his body clock) and he and I went out for a crisp morning walk. By 9am, he was dozing in an armchair, not surprisingly after his 30-plus mile Saturday.

We went out to New Jersey horse country to ride bikes. It was afternoon when we came home and Jim and I started talking about school, a subject also broached on Saturday.

Ruckus ensued: Running out and back into the house, casting the plastic contents of one cabinet and a dishrack on the floor and overturning a garbage can (note to self: at sign of upset child, at least tie up garbage when it's got coffee grounds and onion peelings), sitting moaning back in the armchair. He demanded a bike ride; we mentioned being actually, really calm, lest there be ride-ruckus too.

There wasn't, though a walk later with the three of us saw some sudden sprints-with-yowls and one instance of rolling on a neighbor's lawn. No head-banging or grabbing or such. Charlie got himself up off the grass and Jim took his hand and I the back of his sweatshirt and we walked on in a steadfastly peaceably way learnt after 14 years with our boy.

Charlie spent the rest of the evening insisting his lunchboxes could not be put into the refrigerator (but not moving the Capri suns and crackers and sushi I piled up in the space where the lunchboxes would have been). He told me NO when I sought to show him the bus photo on his iPad but tolerated looking at it (for maybe 1 second) before switching back to one of him on his bike with my mom and dad taking photos. He told me 'Mom sit,' as in 'Mom, sit at your desk and don't bug me.'

By 9pm, Charlie was asleep, his iPad beside him. He'd plugged it into the charger himself, something he just started doing two days ago after previously getting very annoyed whenever I tried to tether his iPad to that white cord.

I have an 8am meeting Monday but cancelled. Transitioning Charlie back into the routine: Hoc opus, hic labor est.





Good luck today!

a BCPSS parent

A whole week...shaking my head. I would expect a lot of anxiety. I bet the whole school will be on edge for several days.

Not sure about NJ, but I heard the long-term weather here in MD is wet, but not too much snow. That seems a gamble, since the snow/rain line is always close. Here's hoping no more closures for the rest of the school year.


Hoping routine restores calm but Friday no school (Veteran's Day), grrrr.

Kristina Chew

It's definitely been a lot of transitioning back to school for Charlie and then bingo, no school Thursday and Friday. I am wondering about how the weather will be -- I am quite sure that week off took up a lot of snow days!

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